Landships II

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: French/Serbian 75mm 1907 A in Iraq


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 284
Date:
French/Serbian 75mm 1907 A in Iraq
Permalink   


An acquaintance, who serves as the commander of a US field artillery battalion, in Iraq has recently contacted me with photos of several pieces his unit has acquired.  I have identified the pieces as the French manufactured 75mm 1907 A.  I believe the manufacturer is St. Chamond and the emails from Iraq indicate that they believe this is what the markings show too. As you can see in the photos the breech is an interrupted screw type not the Nordenfelt for the Schneider mle/97.   
(1st Question)   Was St. Chamond a manufacturer for the 75mm 1907 A as well as  Schneider-Creusot?

(2nd Question)   Is the 75mm 1907 A always fitted with an interrupted screw breech or is this group unusual?
It appears likely to me that these pieces were captured by either the Austro-Hungarians or Germans from Serbia and turned over to the Ottoman Army.  Their location in Iraq makes this sequence of events logical.
(Observations) The eagle & crest is obviously Serbian.  The St. Savas Cross is clear in the photograph.  The wheels are original 12 spoke types not the normal 14 spoke wheels for the French Schneider 75mm mle/97.  The sighmount is not at all like the mle/97.  This also appears to match a number of Australian captured Ottoman pieces that have been described to me.   
The US Artillery BN appears to have been given permission to bring these home.  With the regulations regarding captured weapons in Iraq these can only be counted as safely home, once they are here in the US on the ground.   In my two years in Baghdad, I acquired two British WW1 3.7 Inch QF Howitzers, four German 10,5cm lFH 18/39, four Italian 105mm Melara and one British 25 pdr.  Despite restoring them, I was unable to bring them back to my unit in the US.  I had little choice but to turn them over to the Iraqi Tomb of the Unknown Soldier museum in Baghdad.  Hopefully, these "75mm 1907 As" will have better luck.
Ralph Lovett    

-- Edited by Ralph Lovett at 23:55, 2008-03-06

Attachments
__________________
Ralph Lovett


Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 233
Date:
Permalink   

Hallo Ralph,

Is it shure that the barrel is original or reset after the twentys ? After having a look
at several skrew -breech types i presume that there were some tricky orientals who
mounted a "modern" 75' barrel on the old mother type. I don't want teach a specialist
like you something new but please have a look in your files at Vickers and russian
Obuchow breeches than you'll see in which direction my thoughts are going.....

Best regards
Gerd

__________________
Steel can be helpful - you have only to bring it into the "right form "


Hero

Status: Offline
Posts: 791
Date:
Permalink   

Ralph & Company,

This is indeed an unaltered Schneider M1907.   Observe the recoil tube guides, and note they are placed back, where as the M1897 were flush with the muzzle.  Additionally, the Schneider version omitted the guide rollers.

I suspect these are survivers from the Great War Ottoman Army. ( Sometime after the 2nd Balkan War, a shipment of these guns were in route to Serbia, and were high-jacked by the Turks. )  They equipped several batteries in the Palestine area, and some were captured by the Brits in 1918.

A great find, Ralph !  Are the limbers and cassions still around ?

__________________


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 284
Date:
Permalink   

Yes, the piece is in no way a 75mm mle/97. The barrel, breech, recoil mechanism, cradle, sightmount, carriage, shield and 12 spoke wheels are distantly different from the 75mm mle/97. The main point I am curious about is if St. Chamond was a manufacturer of this type 75mm 1907A. I have found a number of references listing Schneider as the designer and have heard of several pieces like this in Australia marked to Schneider but the reports Im getting from the unit that has the piece in Iraq say it is marked St. Chamond.

Unfortunately, there is not other support equipment like limbers or caissons. Along these lines however, last year, when I was in Iraq I did find a British 1918 marked horse drawn Utility Cart in Taji. Unfortunately, I didnt manage to get this one home.

Ralph Lovett

__________________
Ralph Lovett


Hero

Status: Offline
Posts: 791
Date:
Permalink   

For me, the St.Chamond connection is difficult to accept.  Schneider was by far The largest, and most important private French arms dealer prior to the Great War.   The M1907 was primarily an export item, and would not have needed a sub contractor to assist production at this period in history.   It may have happened, and I will stand corrected if anyone has reliable information to the contrary.

As you know, Krupp enjoyed a very lucrative arms export buisness after the Franco-Prussian War.   However, by the first decade of the new century Schneider had taken a considerable amount of business away from them, and had "leveled the playing field".  Not just because they had an excellent weapons system to offer, but because the French government actively solicited on  their behalf.   None the less, this gun stood on it's own merits, and  compaired favorably with any other period divisional piece in use .

Ralph, please contact me off forum when you can. 

__________________


Hero

Status: Offline
Posts: 791
Date:
Permalink   

That is, by the way,  the Serbian royal crest apearing on the breach in the first pic.  

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us


Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard